Novel Steel Corrosion Protection by Microbial Extracellular Polymeric Substances (EPS) – Biofilm-Induced Corrosion Inhibition
Microbially influenced corrosion (MIC) of steel has gained increasing attention in recent years because the damage caused by this process is a significant cost factor for industry. Consequently, inhibition of corrosion and especially the development of corrosion protective films is an important present-day research topic. In this connection, application of microbially produced EPS for mitigating steel corrosion is an innovative idea. However, observations of ”protective” biofilms on metallic surfaces have been previously reported. Their inhibiting effect is generally thought to be caused by oxygen depletion or the formation of passivating layers. In contrast to many conventional corrosion protective methods, EPS or EPS-derived agents would be a cheap and environmentally friendly solution. Extensive research activities are still required, before biofilms or cell-free EPS can be used for corrosion protection on larger scale. In this study, we are developing a novel EPS-based corrosion protection method for unalloyed and corrosion resistant steel in aqueous media, which is based upon the application of microbial metabolic products. EPS of various sulfatereducing bacteria and other microorganisms are investigated for their inhibiting effect. The extent of such inhibition is evaluated in a model test system, in which different steels are subjected to corrosive conditions under sulfate-reducing conditions. To elucidate the protective mechanisms, comparative analyses of the chemical composition of the applied EPS are performed.
Axel Schippers, Wolfgang Sand, Franz Glombitza and Sabine Willscher
M. Grooters et al., "Novel Steel Corrosion Protection by Microbial Extracellular Polymeric Substances (EPS) – Biofilm-Induced Corrosion Inhibition", Advanced Materials Research, Vols. 20-21, pp. 375-378, 2007